Wednesday, July 12, 2006

beenie boy!

This here Beenie Man reggae artist is part of the noble crowd of singers dedicating their time and talents to the LIFEbeat concert against AIDS in New York on July 18. Problem is he writes the occasional confusing lyric, like the one where he suggests lynching lesbians. In "Han Up Deh" he sings: "Hang chi chi gal wid a long piece of rope," the term "chi chi" being jamaican slang for gay folk. Another artist on the LIFEbeat bill TOK has the same sort of problem. In "Chi Chi Man" the group encourages burning gay men, which beside being grotesque and medieval is not so good if the point of the benefit concert is to raise awareness about AIDS!

LIFEbeat executive director John Canelli told BET's Keith Boykin Monday morning that his organization knew that Beenie Man and TOK were homophobic artists but decided to do the concert anyway. "We didn't make the decision blindly and we knew there would be controversy."

A coalition of Black lesbian and gay bloggers have launched a worldwide online campaign to cancel performances at the benefit by Beenie and TOK. Jasmyne Cannick is one of them, as are Donald Agarrat, Clay Cane, Terrance Heath, Frank Roberts, Pam Spaulding and Bernard Tarver.

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